Pinelands National Reserve
The 1.1 million acre New Jersey Pinelands, covering nearly one quarter of the state, is a region of varied resources and opportunities. The Pinelands is home to almost twelve hundred species of plants and animals, many unique natural environments, and a rich folk life based on its natural wealth.
Pinelands ecosystems include coastal wetlands, pine/oak upland forests, and white cedar swamps. A major influence on these resources lies within the sandy soil—over 17 trillion gallons of water are stored in the sands of the Kirkwood/Cohansey Aquifer—-the primary source of drinking water for South Jersey residents.
Pinelands heritage, dating from prehistoric times, has helped create the landscapes of the Pines. Native Americans used the regions resources for food and shelter. Early settlers used cedar trees and bog iron as the basis for local industries. Today, cranberry and blueberry agriculture are the major Pinelands industries. Despite the perception of a "barrens" landscape and generations of resource based activities, the remarkable treasurers of the Pinelands National Reserve continue to regenerate providing both inspirational and recreational opportunities for visitors and residents alike.
(Inscriptions under the images-left to right, top to bottom) The cool, sea-colored waterways of the Pinelands offer canoeists an opportunity to quietly observe plants and animals that make this region special.The northern pine snake is one of more than 90 colorful, threatened or endangered species in the Pinelands. Frequent fires help maintain the open sandy soils of the forest floor providing their preferred habitat for laying eggs and hunting.Numerous hiking and walking trails are scattered throughout the Pinelands. The fifty-mile long Batona Trail traverses the Pinelands wilderness through varied land features, historic communities, and vegetation types. Eighteenth century colonists processed bog iron-ore to develop one of the major Pinelands industries. The mansion at Barto Village represents a part of the sweeping story of the boom and bust cycles. When cranberries ripen, the bog is flooded allowing mechanical "beaters" to separate the berries from their vines. Careful use of natural resources has kept the Pinelands in the forefront of cranberry production for over a century.